29 patients on manual ventilation since last night in Delhi hospital as oxygen supply ends

29 patients on manual ventilation since last night in Delhi hospital as oxygen supply ends

Covid-19 patients outside a Covid ward at a hospital in New Delhi on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 24

Heart-rending scenes abound the space outside one of Delhi’s most prestigious private facilities Sir Gangaram Hospital where the lives of 29 patients on invasive ventilation are hanging by a thread for four days now.

After 25 critical Covid patients died on Friday amid an oxygen crisis here the hospital management on Saturday sent out a final warning to the Centre and the Delhi government saying the oxygen supplier mandated to fulfil its commitment — INOX — had been reneging and the condition of 29 invasive ventilation patients could worsen any time now.

These patients have been on manual ventilation since last night but our staff is now exhausted, said Gangaram chairman DS Rana.

The hospital revealed the horrors of oxygen supply gaps saying to run in waive ventilators oxygen reservoir should be 3,000 cubic meters. 

“We are getting supplies of 500 to 1,500 cubic meters only. We have 516 covid patients, 129 in ICU and 29 patients on invasive ventilation. These 29 patients due to less supplies are on manual ventilation since midnight. This cannot go for long. Staff is getting exhausted,” Rana said.

Noting that the government was doing its best but appeared helpless, Rana said the Delhi government should stop forcing hospitals to admit more patients.

“The government should admit the crisis and reduce the patient intake. Today morning our oxygen had almost finished when we received 1.5 tons, which has depleted 0.7 tons as we speak. This will last for one hour only,” Rana said.

Yesterday it was given in writing to Gangaram that INOX will start giving 9,000 cubic meters daily from midnight.

But the hospital, despite being in crisis since 4 am today, has not received supplies.

“INOX did not fulfill its commitment and just supplied 1.5 tons at 5.30 am. INOX says they don’t have oxygen. We want help and I appeal to both Centre and state to help,” a desperate Rana said as reports of patients dying from lack of oxygen came in from Rajasthan and Punjab.

Rana rued that on one side the Delhi government has increased Covid beds in hospitals and on the other side they can’t supply oxygen in sufficient quantity.

“How are we supposed to work? If this is Covid tsunami and Government has invoked Disaster Act then they should work according to Disaster Act. We need immediate intervention,” Rana said.

Delhi hospitals have been engaged in panic management or oxygen for five days now with no solution in sight.

The permanent solution is a PSA oxygen plant but that’s a long haul. Instant oxygen delivery remains critical to save patients.

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